SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Christian Eriksen trained on his own on Friday ahead of a pre-season match against Juventus in Singapore, adding to speculation the Real Madrid and Barcelona target could leave the London club.
Eriksen is entering the final year of his contract at Tottenham and could leave for free next summer.
Last month, the Denmark international said he was ready to take on a new challenge.
Argentine manager Mauricio Pochettino told reporters Eriksen trained alone due to a “minor surgery” the playmaker underwent after Tottenham lost 2-0 in the Champions League final to Liverpool in June.
“It’s difficult for me to comment for the player,” Pochettino said when asked about Eriksen’s desire to leave the club. “Because he got a small, little minor surgery after the final … that is why today rather to train alone.
“We give the option to stay in London but the medical staff they decide that he can be available to play, maybe, and that is why he’s here.”
There was speculation last season that Pochettino himself could leave Tottenham with the 47-year old manager admitting that it would be a ‘dream’ to one day coach Real Madrid.
The Argentine hinted that he might have left had the North London club won the Champions League.
“Leaving would be different (if there was a) different result after the final, maybe. Really it’s a moment to step out of the club and maybe to leave the club,” he said.
“After the final, this was not great to finish like this. I’m not a person not to face the problems, to face difficult situation.
“I love a big challenge and difficult challenge and of course to rebuild. When I say rebuild, I mean rebuild that mentality that next season we can repeat a similar season. I think that motivates me a lot.”
Tottenham face Italian champions Juventus in the International Champions Cup at the National Stadium in Singapore on Sunday before taking on Manchester United in Shanghai on July 25.
The International Champions Cup features 12 teams playing friendly matches in venues in North America, Europe and Asia.
Tottenham begin the new league season at home to promoted Aston Villa on Aug. 10.
(Reporting by Joe Brock; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)